Migraine headaches are such a nuisance. I have watched my mother deal with them her whole life and had my fair share of headaches over the years as well. What I didn’t know earlier on was there are always trigger for your headaches. They don’t come on without a cause.
Everyone’s trigger and experience is different. For some it’s affected by your diet like gluten, dairy, pork, and deli meats. For others it’s because of stress, lack of sleep, change in weather, toxic smells, missing meals, dehydration, and even hormonal changes. Check out my tips below to see how to prevent a migraine headache!
1.Diet is key
People who stick to a low tyramine diet do really well. Learning to avoid aged and yellow cheeses, red wine, dark beer, shell fish, nuts, meats processed with nitrates, as well as caffeine and chocolate and fermented soy products like miso and teriyaki sauce all help prevent migraines. I personally also encourage patients to avoid allergens that you are unaware of. Common allergens are dairy, wheat (gluten), eggs, nuts, citrus foods, soy and shellfish. So start paying attention to how these foods affect you.
Keeping a “headache” diary is important. This will help you figure out what your “triggers” are. It may sound silly but sometimes we don’t always put two and two together. Once we see it enough times, we realize “ooh that’s what the cause is.” Learn to identify your triggers in smell, foods, noise, stress, lack of sleep etc and avoid them.
3.Sleep Sleep Sleep
Having a good sleep hygiene is imperative. Sleeping excessive or not enough can definitely negatively trigger a migraine headache so be sure to get your Zzz’s on. Check out these tips to a restful night’s sleep.
Managing daily life stress is important when it comes to migraine headaches. 4-7-8 breathing technique by Dr. Andrew Weil is something I recommend to many patients to help reduce cortisol levels. It really calms the mind and resets your tone and train of thought after 2 minutes. Check out Dr. Weil’s 4-7-8 breathing technique.
I’m also a big fan of other mind body therapies like hypnosis, reiki, acupuncture, as well as implementing a daily meditation practice for prevention.
Also try these small shifts to remain stress free and manage your chronic stress.
Using essential oils in your bath, diffuser or even massages can improve migraine headaches and help you relax. Studies have shown that inhaling lavender oil improves migraine headaches. (1)
I personally like inhaling peppermint oil when I feel a headache come on and it helps tremendously.
- Sasannejad P et al. Lavender essential oil in the treatment of migraine headache: a placebo-controlled clinical trial. Eur Neurol. 2012;67(5):288-91.